Study Shows Range of Costs between Crist's, Meek's, and Rubio's Federal Budget Plans

Oct 19, 2010, 12:55 ET from National Taxpayers Union Foundation

ALEXANDRIA, Va., Oct. 19 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Florida Senatorial candidates Charlie Crist, Kendrick Meek, and Marco Rubio advocate three distinct political philosophies, and a new study from the non-partisan National Taxpayers Union Foundation (NTUF) shows that their philosophies toward the federal budget are distinct too. Meek would boost outlays by nearly $100 billion, Rubio would cut them by more than $150 billion, while Crist would raise them by about $3.5 billion. However, all three have made many promises with indeterminate costs.

For the study, NTUF gathered information from the campaigns and media coverage on any proposals by the leading Florida Senate contenders that could impact federal spending. Cost estimates for these items were verified against independent sources such as the Congressional Budget Office, and through NTUF's BillTally system, which since 1991 has tracked all spending bills in Congress. Findings include:

  • Meek's campaign promises would increase annual federal spending by a net of $97.987 billion. Of his 20 proposals affecting federal expenditures, 13 would increase outlays, one would reduce them, and six had impacts that were impossible to calculate.
  • Crist's fiscal agenda consisted of 11 items – three to increase spending, none to decrease it, and eight with unknown effects. Overall they would nudge expenditures upward by $3.476 billion.
  • Marco Rubio's platform of 32 planks would produce net annual budget savings of $153.292 billion. Seven would raise expenditures, five would lower them, and the large remainder – 20 – was without quantifiable estimates.
  • Major initiatives from the candidates include a $51.54 billion "cap-and-trade" energy plan (Meek), a freeze on certain "discretionary" programs that would save $108.414 billion (Rubio), and a $2.837 billion renewable energy package (Crist).  

"Considering the contentious debate over the current federal budget, Floridians deserve to know where candidates would take the nation's finances," NTUF Senior Policy Analyst Demian Brady noted. "NTUF's analysis provides some solid indicators of those future fiscal directions, measured in dollars rather than words."

NTUF is the research arm of the 362,000-member National Taxpayers Union, a non-profit citizen group. Note: The analysis of the Florida candidates' spending agendas and other Senate studies are available at

SOURCE National Taxpayers Union Foundation